Behind a BLT, There Is More Than Meets the Eye
by Michael Fox
Since I am often on the look out for interesting employment law related items, I followed up on a story from Orlando about Lina Morales who was allegedly fired for eating pork on the premises of Rising Star, a telecommunications company described as having "strong Muslim ties." The story was apparently first reported by an Orlando TV station and now has been picked up by a number of news outlets. It is not clear what prompted the story (slow news day? -- suggestion from plaintiff's counsel?) since Morales was fired in March of 2003, the lawsuit was filed earlier this year and is in the "discovery phase" according to another report.
Although amusing, I probably would never have posted it here were it not for another phenomenon that I found in checking out some of the other links. The story has apparently caught the attention of many in the blogosphere, if you are to believe the large number of comments (451 as of this posting) to the little green footballs blog, a blog popular enough to have its own entry in wikipedia.
You can check out the post and the comments at Freedom for Me, Not for Thee. Given the nature of lawsuits, it would be a surprise to me if there were not a lot more to this case than what is reported so far (or will ever be, for that matter). But what is clear, and I guess I had not appreciated before, is how visceral the reaction against the "Muslim" position appears to be. For those involved in managing the ever more complicated issue of religion in the workplace, it is worth noting.